I love the Winter. Christmas is wonderful, the snow is glorious and twinkles under the Winter sun and I love nothing better than cosy coats and hot chocolates. If you see me bundled up under a fluffy hat with rosy cheeks, you know I am happy. But as much as I love Winter, it really does not love my skin.
My skin type is very much ‘dry/sensitive’. Not only do I have to be super careful with which products I am trying, but even a change in the temperature can cause a flare up of my skin. I would much rather put on two pairs of socks and a dressing gown than turn the heating on, for example, because artificial heat immediately dries my skin out and what my husband affectionately nicknames “map face” is never far away. Over the years I have had to adapt to the festive season by taking steps to make sure my skin is as happy and healthy as it can be before I face the coldest of days. I grew up in the north of Scotland, so I am definitely used to cold Winters! Here are some of my favourite tips for keeping your skin looking brighter than the Winter sun this season.
Water is just the best way to look after everything, isn’t it? I’m really lucky in that I actually love the taste of water, but I know for some people it can become a real chore to drink the recommended amount of water every single day. I don’t tend to stick to a target as such, but I do have a glass of water each time I eat and I tend to stop off in the kitchen for a glass of water on my way back from the bathroom, just to ensure I am as hydrated as I can be. I might pee like Seabiscuit, but at least my skin is glowing, right?
Using sunscreen in the Winter seems totally counter-intuitive, right? But the Summer sunshine doesn’t hold the sole blame for harmful UV rays which can hurt your lovely skin. This is particularly true if it is snowing, as snow actually reflects the sun’s rays and amplifies the effect of UV damage. A tinted moisturiser with a level of SPF can really help protect your face – a minimum of SPF 30 is best for my fellow freckled friends.
On the subject of moisturiser, I really try to limit my make-up usage in the Winter. I’m not somebody who wears make-up a great deal anyway, but when my skin is feeling dry and painful, the last thing I want to do is throw on a layer of foundation. I look for light, hydrating make-up options like moisturising primers or tinted moisturisers and I use micellar water to remove any product that I have applied during the day.
Even though my skin can feel really dry in the Winter, I find it especially important to steer clear of oil-based moisturisers wherever I can. When my face is on the brink of a flare-up, the last thing I need to be doing is giving myself acne and blackheads. I often notice them creeping up at the crease where my nose meets my face, and as soon as I see that I immediately know I need to visit Chemist4U and find something that is really going to unclog my pores and give me a deep cleanse. I make sure to only use this on affected areas to ensure that my skin does not begin to dry out.
This is a bit of a weird one, but I try to make my baths and showers shorter in the Winter. As tempting as it is to sink in to a steaming hot bath after a chilly day, the change of temperature can really confuse my skin and cause it to become dry and irritated. I swear, my skin needs therapy sessions or something because it is ridiculously temperamental and flares up at the slightest sign of trouble. I go for a warm shower rather than a piping hot one, and I am sure not to hang around any longer than I need to. As soon as I am out of the shower, before even getting dressed, I apply some moisturising products to my face and hair. That way I feel like my skin is ready to fight off any encroaching dry patches that decided to invade while I was distracted in the shower, and it just makes my skin feel really clean and happy.
What skincare tips do you try to follow every Winter? Do you find that your Winter and Summer skincare habits are totally different? Let us know in the comments!